by Bobby Mihalik
ETOBICOKE, Ont -- In a game filled with explosive rallies and fiercely fought volleys, the Humber Hawks women's volleyball team came out on top of a never-say-die Cambrian Golden Shield team on Saturday night, winning three straight competitive sets (25-20, 25-17, 25-19).
The game was tightly contested from the start, with Cambrian (3-6, 7th West) taking an early lead before the Hawks pulled ahead. The Golden Shield fought back valiantly, eliminating Humber's lead twice but never pulling ahead. A streak of seven consecutive points on the back of Celine Blanchette's serving blew the game open for the Hawks, putting them up by eight. Though Cambrian refused to yield, rallying back to come within three points, Humber held on to win the first set 25-20.
The Hawks (8-0, 1st West) took flight in the second set on a strong start. Jumping out to a 5-0 lead, the Hawks built upon their play to hold ten point leads twice in the set, at 16-6 and 24-14. Cambrian would attempt to come back with a last-second rally, but the Hawks held on to handily win 25-17.
The third set appeared to be the Hawk's most dominant set yet, scoring 11 straight points behind Devan O'Connor's serving to put victory within their grasp. Ahead by 12 points and only one point away from taking the victory, Humber was nearly bowled over by a stunning Cambrian rally. The Golden Shield, with no room for error, scored eight straight points to put the game back within five, but their efforts ultimately fell short as the Hawks seized the match with a 25-19 victory.
Jasmine Lougheed, the only player to finish in double-figures, led the Hawks with 14 points (ten kills, two serving aces, two blocks). Breanna Golding finished with nine points for the Hawks (six kills, three serving aces).
Celine Blanchette, whose two serving aces put Humber in control of the first set, was named the Hawks Nation Player of the Game.
With their victory tonight, the Hawks improve to 8-0 on the season. Cambrian falls to a 3-6 record with the loss.
Up next for the Hawks is a matchup at home against the Boreal Vipers Sunday afternoon at 1:00 pm, to finish up their first-half play.